The purpose of this article is to define some of the resources available to small business owners in South Carolina. Whether you are just starting out in business, or you have achieved some success and you are ready to expand, you will be able to find assistance. The most important service for the majority of small business owners across the United States is the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The SBA is an information and advisory service which also provides financing to small business, business programs, and non-profit organizations. Funded and operated by the federal government, the SBA is always very selective about how money is distributed. For example, only small business that operate within specific industries are considered eligible for free grants.
These industries include:
Full details can be found at http://www.sba.gov/content/research-grants-small-businesses.
The reason for this policy is to encourage innovation and research. Most small businesses provide a valuable service, but one that is not unique. As a result, they are not considered innovative enough to qualify for an SBA grant. The application process for the grant awarding programs, Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer, is very strictly controlled. Most small businesses therefore have to use other sources of financing.
The following organizations can give you some ideas as to alternative forms of financing. In addition, they can also offer expert advice regarding how to run a successful small business in South Carolina. Each local office can offer various useful business services, as outlined below.
South Carolina Business One Stop
South Carolina Business One Stop is the official business portal of the state. Due to the fact that the resource is provided by the state of South Carolina, the information can be trusted as being completely accurate. The South Carolina Business One Stop offers small business owners:
- information on registering a small business, licenses, regulations, and paying tax
- training and tutorials on various aspects of running a small business
- a convenient and quick way to manage business filings
South Carolina Office of Small and Minority Business Assistance
The South Carolina Office of Small and Minority Business Assistance was created by the Governor in 1979. The aim of the office is to stimulate economic growth by meeting the needs specifically of small and minority owned businesses. No grants or loans are awarded, but financial advice can be provided. The office also advocates for a portion of state and federal government procurement contracts to be awarded to small businesses.
South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce
The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce is a state wide organization of over five thousand members, which originated in 2000. It is an advocacy group which prides itself on defending the interests of its members, especially in terms of tax and insurance. Members are continually kept informed of any important matters relating to small businesses in South Carolina.
With the programs and services available to you in South Carolina you should have no trouble in developing your small business. With the SBA’s policy regarding the awarding of free grants you may have more difficulty in sourcing financing, however even with this there is assistance available. The necessity for having access to funds makes taking the time to investigate financing options extremely worthwhile.
U.S. Small Business Administration
South Carolina District Office
1835 Assembly Street Suite 1425
Columbia, SC 29201
The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce
1717 Gervais Street Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803.252.5733Fax: 803.799.0678
Governor’s Office of Small & Minority Business Assistance
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 474
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
NEW FAX (803) 734-0548